New Website!

It’s official…the NEW SCD website, is live, as of December 2020!  We invite you to visit the site and check out the new features. All SCD-related information will be posted to the site going forward. While you’re there, don’t forget to bookmark it and check for updates regularly!


APA SCD Statement: Building Sustainable Communities through Action and Equity

The Executive Committee of the Sustainable Communities Division of the American Planning Association (APA SCD) is heartbroken by the senseless killing of George Floyd and many others before him, and the immense pain inflicted on the black community, which continues to suffer from the insidious and blatant effects of structural racism nationwide. We strongly support those who have advanced our community dialogue through activism. Racism is an ongoing issue in American communities and demands sustained action for meaningful, substantive, and immediate change. As planners, it is our responsibility to serve each and every member of our communities equitably and treat all persons with human dignity and respect. This is an essential element of truly sustainable communities. It is particularly important for us to advocate for those who do not have a voice or are otherwise unable to participate in the process of community building—one that is equitable for all.

APA has been proactively working to place equity as a keystone consideration in all planning processes, from the ethical principles that undergird the professional practice of planning articulated in the AICP Code of Ethics to developing and promoting our landmark Planning for Equity Policy Guide last year. As an extension of APA’s efforts, APA SCD will continue to work toward improving the resiliency of our cities and towns and collaborating on innovative approaches to sustainable and equitable planning which improve the lives of all Americans.

As our division prepares for a broader strategic planning effort this summer, we will reach out to our membership to identify how we can make measured progress towards these ends—progress which is vital to America’s future. As a division whose mission is to advance sustainable communities, we are committed to using our voice and our resources to advance this discussion. APA SCD encourages and welcomes collaborations with other Divisions on this topic to collectively grow our understanding.

—APA Sustainable Communities Division Executive Committee

Updated Bylaws – Available for Comments

The Division’s bylaws amendments are available for comment and will be voted upon at the annual business meeting on Thursday, March 28th … where we will take an interactive poll vote for ratification.

Please take a look at the draft bylaws and provide any comments/suggestions on the form below over the next two weeks by Thursday, May 28, 2020

Announcing the Winners of the Seventh Annual Awards for Excellence in Sustainability!

The American Planning Association’s Sustainable Communities Division (SCD) is pleased to announce the winners of the seventh annual Awards for Excellence in Sustainability. The awards honor projects, plans, policies, individuals, and organizations whose work is dedicated to supporting sustainable communities.

The winners represent extraordinary achievements in eight Sustainable Planning categories. The categories and winners are:


Community Plan: City of Pittsburgh, EcoInnovation District Plan (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

RENDER_Blvd of Allies_AFTER - Pitts



Municipal, State, or Regional Plan: Department of Energy & Environment and the DC Office of Planning, Sustainable DC 2.0 (Washington, District of Columbia)



Policy, Law, or Tool: Utile, Coastal Flood Resilience Design Guidelines (Boston, Massachusetts)

03 Public realm guidelines - boston


Energy Plan or Project: BuroHappold Engineering & HEET, GeoMicroDistrict Feasibility Study (Massachusetts)

Prototypical Street Segments


Green Infrastructure Plan or Project: Meyer Studio Land Architects, Heartwood Greenway System (Omaha, Nebraska)



Park, Recreation, or Open Space Plan or Project: Parks and Recreation Department, Our Parks, Our Future: Austin Parks & Recreation Long Range Plan (Austin, Texas)

Identifying Areas in Need of Parkland - austin


Urban Design Plan or Development Project: ReMake Group, Hazelwood Green Preliminary Land Development Plan (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

Architectural; Illustration; Rendering; Sketch; Watercolor; Skibba; Zanetta


Leadership in Sustainability: City of West Hollywood, California (West Hollywood, California)

CAP Highlights 2017 Infographic

7th Annual Awards For Excellence in Sustainability

APA-SCD is excited to announce that the nomination period for the 2020 Awards is now open! 

The Sustainable Communities Division Awards for Excellence in Sustainability is an annual program that honors projects, plans, policies, individuals, and organizations dedicated to supporting sustainable communities. Each year, the award winners are announced during the annual National Planning Conference.

Entries are accepted through 5:00 p.m. (EST) on Saturday, January 18, 2020.

For more information, please visit the Awards page.

Upcoming Awards Webinars

2019 winners

The SCD’s annual Awards for Excellence in Sustainability honors projects, plans, policies, individuals, and organizations whose work is dedicated to supporting and growing sustainable communities. The 2020 awards process will be announced in early November 2019.

To kick everything off, we will be hosting two webinars with speakers representing four of the 2019 Award-winning teams. On each webinar, we will also provide an overview of the 2020 awards process.

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e-Bulletin for 08/22/2019

In this issue:

  • Washing DC’s new Anacostia River crossing
  • The good and bad news in California greenhouse gas emissions inventory

Read the full bulletin online.

e-Bulletin for 08/08/2019

In this issue:

  • Milwaukee’s green infrastructure
  • Building dementia-friendly communities

Read the full bulletin online.

e-Bulletin for 07/25/2019

In this issue:

  • Startups moving from suburbs to cities with good transit
  • Dangerous head waves in cities
  • And more!

Read the full bulletin online.

e-Bulletin for 07/11/2019

In this issue:

  • Cargo bike and cycle delivery
  • Urban heating mitigation strategies
  • And more!

Read the full bulletin online.